Kinawley booked their place in the Ulster Club Ladies Intermediate Football Championship Final following a closely fought encounter against Monaghan side O’Neill Shamrocks Clontibret in Kinawley on Saturday.

Indeed, extra time was required to separate the sides and in the end it was a Lisa Maguire goal midway through the second period of extra time that proved decisive.

That strike put Kinawley in front and they were able to remain there until the conclusion to seal a hard earned one point win.

“We are just delighted to have made it through to the final,” said Kinawley manager Kevin Gilleece. “This was a tight game from start to finish, there was never anything between the sides and it was the most physical game that we have played this year. I’m pleased with the way the girls battled right through to the end.”

Gilleece stresses that it has been a case of taking it one game at a time for Kinawley this year.

“The first thing we wanted was to get out of Fermanagh and there was a big emphasis on winning Fermanagh as it was the first time we have won it back to back. Then it was just about getting the heads down and taking each game as it came in Ulster. We have had two really tough games so far and hopefully that will stand to us in the final,” he added.

Saturday’s victory sees the Brian Borus return to a second successive Ulster final having lost out in last year’s decider and manager Kevin Gilleece expects another mammoth test against Antrim champions St Paul’s in this year’s final which will be held on Saturday October 26.

“I would expect another very tough game against a very good St Paul’s side who had been playing senior championship until recently.

“From our perspective, we would love to go one better than last year and while we know it won’t be easy, we will give everything we have to try and achieve that,” he stated.

In an epic battle, there was nothing separating the sides over the course of the contest.

At the break, Kinawley held a slender one point advantage, 1-05 to 1-04.

O’Neill Shamrocks had bagged the opening goal of the game but a few other chances had been watsed by the Farney outfit in the early stages and Kinawley responded with a goal of their own midway through the half as Danielle Maguire palmed to the net after an incisive move by the home side.

Roisin O’Reilly landed a point from play for the Brian Borus and with Joanne Doonan showing good accuracy from frees Kinawley edged in front at the interval.

The game ebbed and flowed in the second half as the sides traded points although a second goal for ONeill Shamrocks did look as if it would be crucial as they led by a point, 2-07 to 1-09 as normal time drew to a close.

However, Kinawley were awarded a free and captain Doonan stepped up to slot over to send the tense battle into extra time.

With substitute Aine McManus on target from play and Doonan from frees Kinawley held a two point advantage at half time in extra time, 1-13 to 2-08, but the Clontibret outfit appeared to have stolen a march on the home side as they hit 1-01 to move into a two point lead.

This epic encounter though was not over and when Lisa Maguire’s effort looped over the goalkeeper and into the back of the net it put Kinawley back in front with five minutes to go.

The home side then failed to make the most of some gilt edged chances to put the game to bed as the tie remained in then melting pot.

However, Kinawley were able to hold on to their one point lead to the finish to seal the win and their spot in the decider.